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Seasoned Driver? Stay Confident & Save on Auto Insurance!


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Looking for a way to assess your driving abilities without endangering your driver’s license?

Visit for information and tools on how to drive safer and longer, when you’re over 55 years old. Topics include:

  • Evaluate Your Driving Ability
  • Understanding Mind & Body Changes
  • Maintain Mobility & Independence
  • Resources for Family & Friends

Improve your driving skills, and if you're 55 or older, get a discount on your personal auto insurance. The Defensive Driving Course, developed by the National Safety Council, teaches basic crash prevention techniques and has a proven record of reducing traffic violations and incidents. It's taught by experienced, professional traffic safety instructors, including officers of the Minnesota State Patrol. The class consists of lecture, films and discussions. There is no behind-the-wheel driving and there are no tests. 

According to Minnesota state law, people age 55 and older who complete a state approved defensive driving course are eligible to receive a 10 percent, three-year discount on auto insurance. This includes both classroom and online training options. Contact your insurance agent for details. After you complete the course, you will receive a certificate of completion to give to your insurance company.

Classes are available throughout the year within the Greater Twin Cities Metro area. Check the following link for “55+ Defensive Driver Training” dates, times and locations:

How Do I Store My Home Window Screens?


Fall is here and it’s time for home winterization.  Protecting your window screens from bends, scratches, holes and rust is simple with proper storage.                                                                                                                                      screen

Construct a 4x6 foot suspended shelf for all your medium to lightweight items, in the unused area above your garage door. The shelf is designed to hold 160 pounds, and can be adjusted the fit the height of any over-head space.  If you don’t have a garage, the laundry room is another viable option to hold the suspended shelving. Plastic bins of varied sizes can be stacked to further secure your screens and other fragile belongings. Follow this link for a step-by-step guide to building your custom shelves:

School Buses Everywhere!


School is back in session and children of all ages can be found dispersed throughout our neighborhoods, waiting on driveways, boulevards and sidewalks for their safe ride to school.  The rest of us may maneuver through the streets trying to avoid being trapped behind the loads of precious cargo, while driving to our destination as quickly as possible.

Assuming you will encounter school buses at some time throughout the day, it’s important to know the courtesy and laws to follow while driving near them.  According to the National Highway Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for children - children are eight times safer riding in a bus to school than any other vehicles.  More children are killed outside of a school bus than they are as bus occupants.


For the sake of children, and your peace of mind, be familiar with these School Bus Safety Tips for Motorists:

Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and/or its stop arm is extended when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.

Red flashing lights on buses indicates students are either entering or exiting the bus.

Motorists are not required to stop for a bus if the bus is on the opposite side of a separated roadway (median, etc.) — but they should remain alert for children.

Altering a route or schedule to avoid a bus is one way motorists can help improve safety. In doing so, motorists won’t find themselves behind a bus and as a result, potentially putting children at risk.

Watch for school crossing patrols and pedestrians. Reduce speeds in and around school zones.

Watch and stop for pedestrians — the law applies to all street corners, for both marked and unmarked crosswalks (all street corners) — every corner is a crosswalk.




House Guests for the Holidays!


It’s Labor Day weekend, and not too soon to think about the family and friends coming to visit between now and the New Year.  Once we close our windows and turn on the heat, we are reminded of those little projects around the house we wanted to take care of before the next holiday season.  Depending on when your celebrations begin, the time to prepare is now!

     Any room can be freshened up with a new wall color and a few accessories, all for a few hundred dollars.  Decorative pillows, throw rugs, washable furniture covers and trendy lamps are available in assorted styles and prices to suit your desired design.  Comfortable bed sheets and plush bath towels are also a plus for over-night guests.  (Remember the option to donate your gently used accessories to your neighborhood second-hand store.  Someone else can make use of your treasures!)

If your budget allows, there are several moderately priced items that can change up your space.  Comforters, window blinds or fabric panels and a variety wall décor are sure to revitalize your rooms!

Protect fine wood table tops from spills, toys and other damage by covering them with a custom piece of glass.  The glass can be cut to any shape and size, and is available in varied textures and colors, with several edge-work options.

Ready For A New Bathroom!


HDIVD1510 master bathroom after s4x3 lg[1]The average American spends thirty to sixty minutes a day in their bathrooms, according to American Standard's 2008 Bathroom Habits survey.  “Americans have a lot on their minds these days, from saving time and money to escaping from the pressures of everyday life,” said Jeannette Long, director of marketing communications for American Standard. “They are not only multitasking in the bath, but they also want multitasking fixtures that offer beauty, comfort and reliability that meet their growing concerns for water conservation.”

The survey shows that people are doing a lot of things inside their bathrooms besides the obvious: Eighty-eight percent use at least one electronic device in the bathroom; more than a third read their mail.  They also get dressed, listen to music via radio or iPod, and talk on the phone.

Of all home renovations, bathrooms are one of the top two most expensive spaces to redo.  Considering the time spent in the bathroom, and all you hope to accomplish while in there, you want it to be efficient, accessible and attractive.  There are several ways to spruce up or completely makeover your bathroom.  Follow this link offering step-by-step instructions for time needed, price ranges and difficulty rating for various do-it-yourself projects.  Learn how to install anything from faucets to toilets, mirrors to vanity lighting, sub-floor to ceiling tiles and more:

Personalize and complete your renovation with a beautiful shower enclosure.  Contact your professional glass company for custom options in glass and Alumax Bath Enclosures:

Now you’re prepared to start designing the new bathroom you’ve been waiting for!

Summer is Renovation Time!


Living in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area you don’t have to drive too far before seeing a commercial dumpster in a nearby neighborhood driveway. Roofs and siding are being replaced, decks and additions are built, and worn windows are exchanged for more energy-efficient ones. The most common reasons why home windows may need to be replaced are glass or frame damage, moisture or cloudiness between the panes, and the desire for upgraded styles and efficiency.

There are a few common questions customers ask about home windows:

Q: Can I get my window replaced today?

A: No. The glass must first be ordered, and can take about a week to be delivered before replacing.

Q: How can I tell if my window is leaking?

A: For a thorough and accurate measurement of air leakage in your home, hire a qualified technician, but there are ways to find some air leaks yourself. Follow this link for some simple tips:

Q: Can new glass be put in the existing frame?

A: Generally, if the frame is not bent or corroded, especially with single-pane windows, the frame can be reused. Some manufacturers of double-pane windows require the entire unit to be replaced. Additionally, if only one pane of the insulated unit is broken, both pieces of glass need to be replaced. Check with your contractor or glass installation company for more information on restoring or replacing home windows.

Q: What type of double-pane windows do I have?

A: Follow this link for an explanation on different types double-pane, or thermal, windows:

With cold and blustery weather closing in on us soon, make the most of the next few weeks to restore and establish your home into a more energy-efficient dwelling, with proper window replacement.

Students and Their College-Bound Vehicles


It’s mid-July and stores are already stocking their shelves with school supplies and Fall fashions! College students, especially those attending school out-of-state, have much more to think about besides pens, paper and a new wardrobe. A reliable, low maintenance (and possibly trendy) vehicle is foremost on their minds. As you help your young adult prepare their automobile to cross state lines and travel throughout the school year, there are a few additional tips to consider, beyond what your neighborhood vehicle maintenance service center will provide.  

Rock chips are dings in the windshield that are distracting and unsightly, and occur often driving on Minnesota roads, due to icy, salted streets, and summer road construction. Chips can typically be repaired in less than 30 minutes on-site, or in an auto glass repair facility. 

Replacing a cracked windshield should be a priority. The guidelines vary from state to state regarding the lawfulness of driving with a cracked windshield, and may depend on whether the damage obscures the driver’s vision. Your car could have a new windshield in approximately 90 minutes! 

Power door glass issues are also common in used and well-aged vehicles. Grinding noises, glass stuck in an up or down position, or rolling up crooked are all concerns that should be taken care of before heading off to school. Auto glass repair facilities are equipped to assess your concerns and help you decide on the most practical option for your needs. The fix may take less than an hour to simply place the glass back on the track, but some parts need to be ordered and require a 2-3 day delivery time, before replacing. 

Window tinting is a nice perk for a college-bound vehicle and offers such benefits as increasing privacy for your student, and reducing heat and harmful UV rays that not only affect the driver and passengers, but also damage the vehicle’s interior. The tinting process takes 2.5 to 3.5 hours in-shop, and will be appreciated by your young adult for years to come! 

In a matter of weeks your college-bound student, and their vehicle, will be ready for the year ahead. They can expect peace of mind knowing the auto glass has been taken care of.


Glass Patio door leaks during heavy rain?


Perhaps you have noticed a leak in your patio door with all of this rain.  During the rain the patio door track can fill up with water. The track is equipped with drain holes which may be plugged by debris.  If the holes are plugged, the water will not drain out; the track will fill with water and leak into the inside track. The water can create a mess and cause water damage inside your home.  Here are a few quick fixes:

  • Put a towel on the inside track as a temporary fix during the rain storm.
  • Make sure your screen door is closed which will decrease the water hitting the track.
  • After the rain storm, make sure you clean out the drain holes on the outside patio door track. 
  • If the drain holes are clear of debris, consider drilling a few more holes in the outside track to increase the drainage.

If the water seems to be coming in through the patio door another way, check with your builder or a glass company.  These partners can help you navigate the solution.  It may be a faulty window which is covered by an extended warranty.  Perhaps the patio door needs to be reinstalled.  Generally,the cause of the leak will be the clogged drain holes which you can fix yourself. 

Prepare for Summer Storm Season


"Hail can fall at speeds of 100 mph or more and cause $1 billion in damage annually" according to an article called Weathering the Storms: How to Cover Yourself by AAA Living.  Most of the damage is caused to homes and vehicles.  Here are a few ideas on how you can protect your car and home for the storm season:

Protect your vehicle:

  • Make sure you have comprehensive auto insurance. Comprehensive auto insurance covers non-collision damage such as hail.  Hail may dent your vehicle and smash your auto glass. Ssummer storm
  • Park your vehicle inside a sound structure when severe weather is imminent.
  • Wait the storm out; driving intensifies the damage so pull over if you find yourself stuck out in the storm.
  • After the storm, check your vehicle for dents and broken auto glass.  Be sure to file a claim right away.

Protect your home:

  • Make sure you have the right home owner’s insurance early in the season.  Many insurance companies require the insurance to be in place 60 days beforehand.  Plan ahead.
  • Inspect your home after the storm and report damage to your insurance agent.
  • Broken home windows can be boarded up by a local glass company.

Your local glass company will partner with you in repairing your home windows and auto glass.  What tips can you offer to protect against summer storm season?

For more info, check out this article by AAA


Glass Adds Originality to Your Home


Summer is here and it is a good time to do some projects around the house.  Some builders are getting creative with how they use glass in homes.  Here are a few decorative ideas where glass can be used to add uniqueness and creativity to your new home or remodeling project.

  • Consider replacing spindles with a glass railing systemGlass railing.
  • Add glass block to divide rooms rather than a traditional half wall.
  • Use glass instead of spindles on a loft.
  • Freshen up the deck with glass side rails.
  • Update your bathroom with a new shower enclosure.  Tile and new shower enclosure will increase the sell ability of your home.
  • Add glass shelving to a nook in your home.
  • Add a glass shelf to your bathroom.
  • Mirrors will make any room feel bigger.  Consider a wall of mirrors in your exercise room.
  • Add a small custom whiteboard. It's a great idea for your child’s room or a family “to-do” list in the kitchen.
  • Fix the broken glass in old picture frames and reuse to redecorate.
  • Update your home windows.

These are a few of the possibilities.  Custom glass projects allow you to be creative.  It is an inexpensive way to add originality to your home. So what creative home glass ideas do you have?  Please tell us your ideas and what you have seen.

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